If you are over eighteen and have minor children or own property you should have a will. A will provides
guidance for your loved ones as to what you would like to happen with your legacy. Without a will, your
estate will be subject to the rules provided in legislation and these rules may not reflect your wishes.
At Alberta Wills Online, a complete will costs $100 plus GST. For this amount, you will get
a hard copy of your will mailed to you along with proper execution instructions so
that you can be confident knowing that your will is compliant with the probate
requirements in Alberta.
A will generated by Alberta Wills online is completely valid. You won't need to purchase
any additional services beyond the $100 fee.
An executor is the person charged with dealing your property immediately after you die and with carrying
out your ultimate wishes. Ideally you should name someone you know well and trust, who will not be
overwhelmed by what can be a long and arduous task. An executor has a duty to the ultimate beneficiaries
and can be liable to those beneficiaries if the executor does not act appropriately. Most people choose to
name their spouse as the first executor with a close friend or advisor as the alternate.
It is best to name an alternate person to act as executor in case your first choice is not able to act.
For example, if you name your spouse as executor but you and your spouse pass away together, there is no
longer a named executor and your beneficiaries will have to go through the courts to get someone else
A guardian is the person you name to take care of your children who are under the age of eighteen until
each child reaches the age of eighteen. Most wills will also allow for the executor to make payments to
the guardian in order to cover the cost of raising your children. Most people name their spouse as the
first executor with a close friend or sibling as the alternate.
It is important to name an alternate guardian in case the first guardian is unable to act or continue to
act as the role may last for many years. Additionally, it is important to state your wishes so that your
family knows what your would like to happen to and to prevent discord.
Yes. However, any gifts that were given to your former spouse may be automatically revoked. Also, if
you named your former spouse as executor this will still be valid. You should revisit your old will and
confirm that your wishes are still met.
Your will should specify the age at which your children are to receive their share. Most people choose
, 18, 21, 25 or 30.Your executor will be required to keep invested the capital of the estate until the
final payment is made to your children.
An adult interdependent partner is considered equal to a spouse. If you have been living together for
more than three years, live together and have a child, or have a written agreement, you are considered to
be adult interdependent partners and you should make provision for your partner. If you do not, they may
make a claim against your estate.
There is a section called "Specific Bequests" in the questionnaire for specific items you would like to leave to a person. We
recommend you clearly identify the item and also decide if the item is to go to the children of the
recipient if the recipient predeceases you, or if the item will go to your heirs as defined in the general
part of your will. It should be noted that specific bequests are paid out before general bequests
(or the residue) so if your estate does not cover all the specific bequests, there may be nothing left
for the residue recipient.
A common mistake is assuming that all assets will be covered by your will. If you own property as joint
tenants with another person (not as tenants in common) then the property will automatically transfer to
that other person and will not be covered by your will. Also if a specific beneficiary designation has
been signed, such as with a RRSP or life insurance plan, that asset may also pass outside your will.
You should store your will in a safe place that someone other than you or your spouse is able to access.
For example, you could use a safe deposit box so long as the bank has another name on the account such that
they can access the will when it is needed. Many people also choose to store their wills with their
accountants or family planners.
2 witnesses are required to execute your will and they cannot be beneficiaries named in the will or spouse
of beneficiaries named in the will. Your witnesses must be over the age of eighteen. Additionally, you
should know the witnesses well as they will need to swear an affidavit (so your executors will need to
track them down!) when the will goes through the probate process.
Alberta Wills Online is not practicing law and setting up trusts will likely require the use of a law firm.
If you would like recommendations of Estate Lawyers in Alberta, please contact us using the contact
information on the Home Page